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Credit Card Debt Puzzles

Author

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  • Michael Haliassos
  • Michael Reiter

Abstract

Most US credit card holders revolve high-interest debt, often combined with substantial (i) asset accumulation by retirement, and (ii) low-rate liquid assets. Hyperbolic discounting can resolve only the former puzzle (Laibson et al., 2003). Bertaut and Haliassos (2002) proposed an "accountant-shopper" framework for the latter. The current paper builds, solves, and simulates a fully-specified accountant-shopper model, to show that this framework can actually generate both types of co-existence, as well as target credit card utilization rates consistent with Gross and Souleles (2002). The benchmark model is compared to setups without self-control problems, with alternative mechanisms, and with impatient but fully rational shoppers.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Haliassos & Michael Reiter, 2005. "Credit Card Debt Puzzles," Working Papers 233, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:233
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Irina A. Telyukova & Randall Wright, 2008. "A Model of Money and Credit, with Application to the Credit Card Debt Puzzle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, pages 629-647.
    2. Irina Grafova, 2007. "Your Money or Your Life: Managing Health, Managing Money," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 285-303, June.
    3. Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant & Jean-Denis Garon, 2014. "Optimal Redistributive Pensions and the Cost of Self-Control," Cahiers de recherche 1412, CIRPEE.
    4. Amromin, Gene & Huang, Jennifer & Sialm, Clemens, 2007. "The tradeoff between mortgage prepayments and tax-deferred retirement savings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 2014-2040.
    5. Guiso, Luigi & Sodini, Paolo, 2013. "Household Finance: An Emerging Field," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    6. Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant & Jean-Denis Garon, 2015. "Optimal redistributive pensions and the cost of self-control," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 723-740, October.
    7. Freixas Xavier & Hurkens Sjaak & Morrison Alan D & Vulkan Nir, 2007. "Interbank Competition with Costly Screening," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-27.
    8. Heski Bar-Isaac & Vicente Cuñat, 2005. "Long term debt with Hidden Borrowing," Working Papers 05-04, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit Cards; debt; self control; household portfolios;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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